Abstract

Shareconomy is a new business trend that has been on the peek for several years now. It focuses on the peer-to-peer sharing of access to resources, goods and services that usually are organized online. This research paper offers a trend analysis of shareconomy with the main focus on transport (Uber and BlaBlaCar) and accommodation (Couch Surfing and Airbnb) businesses that are part of them. This research will focus on analyzing and answering the main research question: How do the shareconomy businesses disrupt existing economies/industries? The scope of the work concentrates on three factors: the motives of the customers that driver them to use this trend, the opportunities shareconomy provide the market with and the threats that it posses. The research is primarily based on the investigation of online communities where the discussions about shareconomy businesses and this trend is taking place. The main online community that is taken as a research basis for netnography is Reddit (www.reddit.com). In addition to that, Instagram social network is also analyzed using data scrapping and visualization tools. In order to answer the key research question several core methods were used. Firstly, the preliminary online research (including Google trends analysis) and literature review – these methods allow placing the collaborative consumption trend into a broader context. Secondly, the online research – netnography – this structured observation facilitated the deeper investigation of the trend focusing on the online community (Reddit). Finally, the social network analysis (SNA) as well as data scraping and visualization using Gephi tool enabled getting more understandable overview of the trend (Instagram). The overall results reached in the investigation are that businesses applying the Shareconomy model bring an innovative and easy to use solution to an existing industry, while benefiting from the lack of governmental control, thus creating increased consumption and sometimes-uneven competition. Leading to that, this creates a chain reaction that results in stronger control over the industry or a need for innovation in stagnant businesses.

The main advice/recommendations based on the findings of the research that can be given to the companies, economies or industries that have not considered/implemented the shareconomy trend yet, is summed up in two main reasons and advices. Firstly,  with current technologies and the level of connectivity and information, market economies can truly exist with less regulation and more decentralisation, therefore applying this model is one of the advices given. However in order to generate the optimal revenue, government has to co-operate with the public and businesses to create adequate legislature. In the end, this will result in better protection of the interests of citizens while allowing for innovation and progress to take place.

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